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New Mexico Recreation

Thanks to year-round sun and mild weather, recreation in Santa Teresa and the El Paso / Doņa Ana County area thrives with an abundantly wide array of parks, gardens, hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails through the mountains and the desert. In addition, facilities for snow skiing, fishing, hunting, camping, site seeing as well as Indians casino gambling abound.

The Santa Teresa Country Club provides two 18-hole, Lee Trevino - designed gold courses as well as tennis and swimming for members and guests. Between El Paso and Las Cruces the area provides an additional nine public, four private and one military golf course as well as 43 public and private tennis facilities.

Spectator sports provide year-round entertainment for area residents. The University of Texas at El Paso and New Mexico State University are both home to NCAA Division 1 sports programs. The Sun Bowl game between two nationally acclaimed NCAA Division 1 football teams is played in El Paso every winter. The El Paso Diablos baseball team, Patriots soccer team, and Buzzards ice hockey team are professional sports organizations located in the area that have gathered a wide following among local residents. Horse racing at Sunland Park and Ruidoso Downs is also a favorite pastime.

Aquatic recreation is a popular summer activity as well. Fishing and swimming are available at the region's various lakes and reservoirs. In addition to several smaller lakes scattered throughout southern New Mexico, the Elephant Butte and Caballo Reservoirs north of Las Cruces are large enough for boating and a wide variety of water sports. Wet & Wild and Safari Spring water parks are also favorite summer destinations.

There are many places in far West Texas and Southern New Mexico where one can enjoy sightseeing with a historical twist. Spanish missions dating form the 18th Century and before still stand in Yselta, Socorro, and San Elizario, Texas as well as in Socorro, New Mexico and Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. Ghost towns from the days of the Wild West can also be explored in Kelly, Chloride, Winston, and Kingston, New Mexico. The historic village of Mesilla, thirty miles to the north of Santa Teresa, is home to exquisite restaurants as well as fine galleries and shops. There are also many museums in the area including the Centennial and Fort Bliss Museums in El Paso, the War Eagles Aviation Museum in Santa Teresa, and the Natural History Museum in Las Cruces, to name a few.

Opportunities to take in breathtaking natural scenery are plentiful in the area. Driving north and east from Santa Teresa along Transmountain Highway, across the Franklin and alongside the Organ Mountains, one reaches the arabesque landscape of White Sands National Monument. Desert dunes give way to mountain pine forests as one enters the Sacramento Mountains and the all-season resort communities of Ruidoso and Cloudcroft. To the west lie winding mountain roads leading to Indian cliff dwellings inside the Gila Wilderness. To the south in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, lie the Indian ruins of Paquime and the Chihuahua Pacific Railroad that runs across Mexico's vast and beautiful Copper Canyon. Nearby Carlsbad Caverns is one of the nation's most extensive cave systems, and just outside of El Paso, Hueco Tanks is a Mecca for rock climbers and nature buffs alike.

Snow skiing in Southern New Mexico is a delightful possibility from November to April in Cloudcroft and Ruidoso. Owned and operated by the Mescalero Apaches, Ruidoso's Ski Apache consists of 54 runs and 10 chair lifts carved into the Sierra Blanca. A full-service ski school offers lessons in alpine skiing and snow boarding as well. Snow skiing facilities at nearby Cloudcroft are smaller but no less spectacular than those in Ruidoso. Under a three-hour drive from Santa Teresa, up scenic highways and through mountains and pine forests, the trip to Ski Apache and Cloudcroft is amazing in itself.

Southern New Mexico and Far West Texas are alive with contrasts that have drawn people to the region for 400 years. The colorful history, diverse culture and natural beauty of this place are like no other in the world. In Santa Teresa, a low cost of living, affordable housing and year-round sunshine in a planned, suburban community makes life here particularly rich and fulfilling.

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